There is not much debate about how important event logs can be. Many web hosting and dedicated server providers simply do not do an adequate job in monitoring and managing event logs. Log monitoring needs to be carried out on a constant and reliable basis. At the same time, they need to take advantage of the data that these logs are providing. Log management and monitoring help aid in:
improved security & efficiency
supports IT business strategies
discovers errors and slowdowns
Make sure to translate data into something an IT company can utilize.
Hosting companies can acquire vast amounts of valuable log data in just one day. This holds especially true if the company is focusing on meeting certain goals in achieving compliance, sales targets and business operations improvements or uncovering network security and IT issues. While some of the data will have greater value than the rest, this is where trained staff analysis come into play.
Log management and monitoring has grown significantly recently and holds a very important role in an online company’s day to day operations due to the reasons mentioned earlier.
Log Management and Monitoring Choices
Security-wise, extracting log files quickly can be a challenge. Log files will always be essential to security and can hold important data that cannot be found from other data sources on a dedicated server. A new group of log analysis and management providers have come to market even though log management and monitoring has always been available for most server admins and security techs. A larger range of sources is now recognizing log data resulting in vendors offering improved scalability, analytics, and integration. At the same time utilizing fewer resources or using them more intelligently and providing more (specific) information.
Older or even current log management and monitoring software may have detailed information but can have difficulty in extracting the specific required data from an IT company due to the logs being too dense in nature and even logging useless data not required by the IT company because of log management software being too general and not specific to a company’s particular needs. Real-time monitoring may also be a solution to consider for some online companies.
The starting point should be how the data is collected and that there is a flexible enough way of obtaining that data, either it be from the network, server, running applications or security related.
Too Much Data
Another important factor is being able to scale all that data as large amounts can quickly become a serious problem. Big data technologies are even assisting in dealing with such large log data and foreseeing the amount of storage space required is vital in determining storage space needs. Make certain there is the possibility of increasing physical storage space when required. Determine what to do with current logs and what will happen with it during any storage upgrades. Will they be kept on a separate drive or the same drive and will the logs be accessible as easily as before? Are the older logs not as important and why?
Third, and probably most important is the ability to analyze all the logs and extrapolate the data that’s needed. This can be done either manually or automatically via software producing real-time data. Trigger alerts based on that particular company’s needs can also be set up.
Knowing what log files a company has, what and how it is collected and where all this data is stored needs to be set in place and firmly understood. Log management tools are then able to manage these logs by extracting information. Server or network admins can then respond to any alerts more efficiently and promptly. Any incident response plansthat are in place need also be set in place and firmly understood.
There is little point in admins being alerted to events without any response plans.
Most organizations can usually improve on their log management and monitoring, and alerts when realizing the significance these logs actually have on any online company today This holds especially true since in recent years log management software has become easier to use.